Mostly very clever marketing. I'm going to take a wild shot in the dark and guess you were referring to Oceania's 2 for 1 cruise's with free air promo.
They are a great cruiseline, among the best in the industry, especially if you want a small ship experience. They are not one of the 6 star lines but do nearly as good a job, just not all inclusive so lower cost.
There marketing however is clever although in my opinion borders on outright deception. Ever notice how cruises are frequently well below the brochure rate posted? Sometimes 50, 60, eeven 70% or more below? They turned this into marketing by advertising 2 for one pricing. The pricing you see on the various sites is not the 2 for one price, the brochure rate is the 2 for 1 rate. Mark it up to full fare and devide by 2, there's your price.
Now onto the free air part but first... What do you normally pay for gvt taxes/fees for a cruise? $40. to $70. for most caribbean sailings from florida, around $80. to $110. from N.E. ports like NYC or Philly right? Alaska, a little over a hundred bucks this year vs half that last year.
Now call your friendly T/A and ask about an Oceania sailing, any of them and ask what the add'l taxes and fees are. Most of the time you be shocked to find out they're a little over $250. pp. Now add their free air and have the taxes and fees re-calculated. They go up to over $600. pp and the brouchure rate of the cruise increases. If you need to fly from an air gateway other then the three or four that they offer the free air from you pay an add'l air fee for the flight from where you are to their approved gateway. This doesn't count any air deviation fees you will incurr if you want a direct flight or other change to your air itin. For such a deviation you have to pay $75. pp non-refundable up front to even request a change. Then you pay the difference in cost for the new flight whatever it is, approx 3 days later or forfeit the fee.
Your 2 for 1 booking with free air just cost you significanlty more in almost every case than if you'd taken the discounted fare advertised and booked your own air. I love booking clients on Oceania, the surveys I get back are consistanty amung the best from any cruiseline. I just wish they'd change their marketing.
Now Costa and a few others are experimenting with similar marketing. At least they don't show an unusually low fare by putting a portion of the cruise fare into the fees category and making your agent try to explain it when you call.
LHT28, As I stated, I love Oceania as well. They have a great product at a great price for what you get. I just think they'd benefit by posting the price they expect to sell a cabin for and not play the marketing game the way they do.
If you haven't seen Oceania cruises at 50% off or more on some sailings you need to shop more aggressively. I just pulled up an electronic list of ther sailings on my system and there are a great number of them at or in excess of 60% off right now. Even one of the hottest dates of the year, Dec 22nd is over 50% off.
CRUISELOVER94, I'm not familiar with them but it still sound like clever marketing. I work for an online agency and the 2 for 1 thing simply means half the brochure rate. Some cruises go to 75% or more discount off the borchure rate off season. A brochure rate is like a suggested retail price with most of the cruiselines. They can make it anything they want, them mark it down and make it look like a great deal. Sometimes it is a great deal but don't let those percentages and other marketing ideas determine who you cruise with or who you book it with. Find what you want at a price that works for you budget. Then find an agent that treats you well, returns your calls in a timely manner. Answers your questions and asks you the type of questions that help you find a cruise that fits you and your wallet.